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#BEDM17 Help me fix Christmas

I'm blogging every day in May, for no particular reason other than I can. I've come up with 31 topics and I'm going to bash on my keyboard about each of them. You can find them here every day or sign up to get an email with them (scroll down). If you enjoy them then you're welcome; if you don't, then why are you still here?

Today I wanted to write about something that's been on my chest for a while, saved as a blog title for a while and which I've written 3 or 4 times now. There's no good way to say this.

Every year, as December gets closer and the decorations start to go up (way too early, of course) in the shops the question that falls into everyone's mind is, of course, "what do you want for Christmas?".

When you're young, that question is a very different proposition to what it is when you're older. Back then the question was one of possibility, excitement and of a lifting of the rules on being 'demanding'.

I can remember a good few hours each year scanning through the John Moore's catalogue with a pen, ready to circle anything I fancied. The result: I got some of it, and forgot about the other bits because I'd never really wanted them anyway.

Having Christmas and my Birthday so close together was great too - combing presents together produced the ultimate value. No one is realistically going to leave a child without a present on their actual birthday are they?

As an adult, that's all different. The question 'what do you want for Christmas?', I have to say, fills me with dread - because, as I usually answer, I don't know.

But actually, I do - I've just had trouble articulating it, at least in part because I'm worried about how it sounds.

The things I want are time and people based. I want more time at home, fewer hours on trains and the chance to just 'be'. I want to fix problems I can't.

So the answer to "what do you want for Christmas?" is actually quite simple: a visit, an experience, a meal, a letter, a card. Or if none of that ticks your boxes then help some charities that mean some things to me do stuff instead.

  • I like the NSPCC, because my Dad believed so much in their work helping other children avoid some of the things he faced as a child.

  • And I like CALM because they're campaigning for men's mental health problems to be treated equally with women's, and to persuade more men that it's OK to reach out for help. 75% of suicides are men, despite the proportion of women and men suffering from poor mental health being about the same.

Photo credit: Foter.com